Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good is not fast is not better

This post reminds me, sadly or not-so-sadly, of the time my dad decided to try his hand at writing something. This, from a man who'd never written anything before in his life. Who rarely read anything, near as I can tell, either. Or rather, he read a lot, but not for a feeling of style and organization. And did I mention he's absolutely nuts?

Now, a lot of people say that about their parents: they're nuts. But sanity and insanity are relative, and what scales you use for one are inapplicable for the other. It makes an interesting frame-of-reference debate, the sort where, like Newton and his bucket of water, you ask which one is spinning. Only there is no absolute space.

Anyway, he churned out a 91,000-page manuscript in about a month, which is awesome. That some of the facts didn't compute, the language was atrocious, the points obtuse, and the general gist of the book didn't seem to make any sense...less awesome.

You can't make this stuff up: when I asked him why he didn't want me to seriously edit the damn thing and make it understandable, he said, "Because nobody can understand it."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Writing beyond the block

I'm working on a very complicated novel involving twin brothers, the end of the US, telepathy, and a gun named "Coraline". So far there has been a helicopter, a wedding, and lots of repressed anger.

Like the NaNoWriMo I wrote last year, I started this only after I worked out how it ends (not prettily). But unlike NaNoWriMo, it's been slow and painstaking and the characters end up in situations that I hadn't planned and things happen and the parts that I thought I would linger on barely get mentioned, while blood and gore (well, gore) cover the pages. I've also been getting hung up on every other page with scenes that won't work, and obssessing about them until they do.

It is quite possibly my most favorite--and my most pain-in-the-ass story. Kind of like the Tweeb.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Never Trust an Interior Designer

Morgan was the kind of twit who paid £2000 for an old Spitfire and £3000 to get it fixed up, chromed, and re-lacquered, so that when he showed up at a client's home the first thing they would see was a car that reminded their genetic memory of the good old days, even if they were too young for the days, or even if they were old enough to know better. The car had to represent more than just a car to his clients: it had to represent style, aspiration, and above all, that nebulous thing called "good taste" which his services promised to render to their house. British cars, he was fond of saying, might be worth diddly on the road, but nobody could fault their looks.

He himself had a spritely look about him: he was lean and reminded people vaguely of Prince Charles. He looked a sight better than that horse-faced member of the royal house, but he walked with the same measured dignity that the prince used on his public perambulations, and always wore a clean suit, carefully matched so as to be unmemorable as possible. You didn't pay to remember him, after all. You paid so that people could remember your house.

It was almost beautiful, how they opened up to him--all in the interest of "finding their style", of course. There were no fronts to put up when they so openly invited him in to plumb their closets, divine their lives. This dent in the wallpaper meant an abusive relationship, that dog meant a merely unhappy one. Putting a new couch in front of the window signified that she was cheating on him; painting a room red meant he was screwing on the side. Men wanted textures, women wanted lines. But above all, they wanted to be better than themselves.

Which they couldn't be, of course, not unless they wanted to rewrite their memories and their lives. But he didn't tell them that--he gave them what they wanted--beautiful things--and didn't return their phone calls when everything came crashing down.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Make Stones Weep

Stones don't cry when they shatter on the ground. The peculiar property of stone-ness means that these inert objects accept the transfer of kinetic energy with a silence that can only be described as stony. The pebbles that come of boulders retain the former properties of the stone--just in smaller pieces, smaller and smaller. At some point, it is said, a stone is no longer a stone. At which point, by definition, it must weep.

And, in doing so, it must gain tears--pain--feeling--soul. So be careful with stones. And be careful with souls. To make stones weep is no hard thing, but to heal a soul requires more than just mortar and brick.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I should probably be panicking

But I'm not. I have another watercolor to start and one more to finish. Next week we're starting the prep work for a party and I have a job interview.

Oddly, I seem to have calmed down about all this. Because, you see, contrary to popular belief about artists, it's all about the plan.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

At least I have a title?

The title is: God Guides Me.

Now, if only I can write the story that accompanies it...

On the plus side, I've been reading more fiction lately. This means that I'll be writing less science-y and more prose-like.

On the minus side, Criminal Minds is on tonight, and I am totally addicted to that show, even more so than I was with House. I also like NCIS, and I think what makes these two shows in particular so much fun is how great everybody gets along. Even when they do have tiffs, they stick together in the end. People dynamics are always fascinating.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I've been wanting to extend one of my short stories into either a story collection or a novel. I've already written a novella-ish-length novel around one minor character, which was fun, but it wasn't the extension that I wanted to do.

In retrospect, the extension seemed obvious--an expansion on a previously-explored plot point which didn't make it into the final cut of the story. I really just don't understand why it took me so long to figure that out.